News

Sep 22, 2020 In Memoriam: Kenneth D. Graham, MD

Dr. Kenneth D. Graham passed away peacefully on April 25, 2020, in his Gig Harbor home, with his wife Jeannie and their dog Charlie at his side. Ken, 89, had been recently diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. Born in Aberdeen on May 20, 1930, he graduated from the University of Washington in 1952 and completed his medical training at George Washington University School of Medicine in 1956. Ken completed his internship at San Joaquin General Hospital, CA., where he met and married his first wife, Beverly, in 1957....

Sep 22, 2020 In Memoriam: Thomas J. Miskovksy, MD

Few individuals fight forest fires in their teens then go on to practice orthopedic surgery in adulthood. Thomas James Miskovsky was that person. Tom was born into a tightly knit Czech family on June 25,1934, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Jaroslav Miskovsky and Ruth Patera Miskovsky. Tom proudly carried his Czech heritage with him throughout his life and enjoyed sharing it with others. Christmas season always began when Tom baked and shared his plum and apricot kolache, which he dutifully made from his mother's original recipe card. Tom's favorite meal was roasted duck with dumplings, a Czech comfort food from his early childhood. Some of the best memories of Tom are of his laughter and lively discussions over a good meal....

Sep 8, 2020 Camille Samujh, DO, MPH Joins PCMS Board of Trustees

Camille Samujh, DO, MPH, from Rainier Anesthesia Associates has joined the PCMS Board of Trustees. She is Chair of Anesthesia at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital. Dr. Samujh attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University. She completed her internship and residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York....

Sep 8, 2020 PCMS Appoints New Executive Director

Mary Eversole has been named Executive Director of the Pierce County Medical Society. A long-time Washington resident and graduate of Seattle University, she is returning home after nine years on the east coast. "I am honored to help the passionate leaders and members of the Pierce County Medical Society achieve their vision for the future of the physician and physician assistant community," said Eversole. Mary moves to PCMS from her most recent position as the Executive Director of the Vermont Insurance Agents Association in Williston, VT and she spent five years at World Vision in various positions, including External Relations Director for advocacy, major donor fundraising, and national events....

Mar 18, 2020 Board of Trustees Appoints Interim Director

Due to the unexpected and untimely death of Bruce Ehrle, the PCMS Board of Trustees has appointed previous director Sue Asher on an interim basis. Employed by PCMS for many years, Sue served as Director of MBI, the association's for-profit subsidiary and Assistant Executive Director prior to being named Executive Director in 2000. She retired in June 2015. She has been hired to continue the work of PCMS ensuring a smooth transition during this difficult time. She can be reached by email at SueA@pcmswa.org or at the office, 253.572.3667....

Mar 18, 2020 PCMS Mourns the Loss of PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle

Sadly and unexpectedly, Executive Director Bruce Ehrle died on March 2nd in Puyallup, where he resided. He was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital and diagnosed with Influenza A and pneumonia. He developed sepsis and was transferred to ICU where he was intubated and shortly thereafter coded. He was 53. Bruce came to PCMS from the Washington DC area where he worked for many years. He was a lobbyist for Oregon Senator Ron Wyden from 1992-2004. He then worked for the American Health Quality Association from 2004-2014. He was hired by PCMS in June 2015. His knowledge of national health care issues and politics was impressive....

Jan 30, 2020 Surprise Billing Resources from OIC

With the state's Balance Billing Protection Act having come in to effect on January 1, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has established on-line resources to provide details.  They may be found at this link: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/surprise-billing-and-balance-billing-protection-act  ...

Jan 21, 2020 CDC Coronavirus Resources for Providers

With the first US case of Coronavirus being reported this morning in Everett, WA by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCMS is distributing links to a couple of CDC resources: Media release from earlier today: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0121-novel-coronavirus-travel-case.html Information for Healthcare Professionals: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/guidance-hcp.html...

Dec 19, 2019 Holiday 2019 Bulletin

The Holiday edition of the PCMS Bulletin may be found here...

Dec 18, 2019 Fine Art and Fun Featured During PCMS Annual Meeting at TAM

The 2019 Annual Meeting Banquet of the Pierce County Medical Society was conducted on Wednesday, December 11 at the Tacoma Art Museum.   As attendees arrived they were greeted by the sounds of a quartet of the Tacoma Youth Symphony performing holiday favorites while the new Benaroya Galleries as well as the North Galleries displaying a temporary exhibit of Impressionist masters were open for viewing.  Appetizers were served near the bar in the glass enclosed atrium looking out over downtown Tacoma....

Oct 28, 2019 Oktoberfest Brings PCMS Members Together

During a week that had NAM release a report about provider burnout that highlighted the importance of physicians not feeling isolated, PCMS Members enjoyed the latest free member Collegial Social at the TRA Lounge in Tacoma on October 24. The event had an Oktoberfest theme with outstanding German style food and beers.  The brats were so popular that only one was left by the end of the evening--and that one remained only because nobody wanted to be the person to take the last one....

Oct 25, 2019 2020 PCMS Board Nominations

The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the following slate of candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: One year terms of office--2020: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD--President-Elect--Primary Care/Family Medicine (Community Health Care) Dina Titova, MD--Vice President--Rheumatology (MultiCare) Courtney Kennel, DO--Secretary--Primary Care/Family Medicine Julian Arroyo, MD--Trustee (appointed by Board of Trustees to vacancy for term expiring in 2020, requiring election for the remainder of the term)--Orthopedics Two year term of office--2020/2021: C. Blake Perry, MD--Trustee--Plastic surgery Under the terms of the PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition....

Oct 24, 2019 NAM Releases Report about Burnout

This week, the National Academy of Medicine released a 312 page report examining causes of burnout for health care providers and recommending solutions, many of which PCMS is already advocating for with policymakers to get at the root causes of stress and depression....

Oct 11, 2019 HHS Releases New Opioid Tapering Guide

The US Department of Health and Human Services has just released new guidance relating to tapering patients off opioids.  The five page document was written by a work group with members from CDC, NIH, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration among other agencies within HHS....

Oct 8, 2019 PCMS Fall 2019 Bulletin

The Fall 2019 edition of the PCMS Bulletin may be found at the accompanying link...

Oct 4, 2019 PCMS meets with Insurance Commissioner's Senior Health Advisor

Jane Beyer, Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner, joined the PCMS Board of Trustees for its meeting on Tuesday, October 1.  During the two-hour session, she provided the PCMS Leadership with information about implementation of the state’s new Balance Billing Protection Act and engaged in lively dialog about that topic as well as access to care including the state’s new public health insurance option.    She noted that Washington State will not be allowing the so-called “skinny plans” recently permitted to operate by the federal government again for the first time since prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Those plans have lower premiums with very little coverage except for catastrophic events and frequently siphon younger, h...

Oct 3, 2019 US Rep. Heck meets with PCMS

PCMS President Aaron Pace, MD and PCMS Trustees Nicholas Rajacich, MD and Dina Titova, MD as well as PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with US Representative Denny Heck for nearly an hour in his district office in Lakewood on Tuesday, October 1 to advocate on behalf of the Society’s membership.  Rep....

Oct 1, 2019 US Rep. Schrier meets with PCMS

PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with US Representative Kim Schrier at her district office in Issaquah on Saturday, September 28.  As a physician, Rep....

Aug 16, 2019 2019 Picnic Features Food and Fun

Members of the Pierce County Medical Society and the Pierce County Chapter of AAFP gathered on the evening of Thursday, August 15 at the TRA Lounge in Tacoma for a barbeque buffet from Famous Dave's with all the fixin's.  The weather provided a perfect evening for taking advantage of the outdoor terrace's picnic tables.  Established physician members were able to welcome medical residents in the county and their paid registrations helped underwrite the free dinner provided to the residents. Raffle prizes for a night out each consisting of a $25 gift card to Farrelli's and a $25 gift card to Cinemark Century Theaters were awarded to two residents....

Jun 14, 2019 PCMS Spring 2019 Bulletin

The PCMS Bulletin issued in early June of 2019 may be found at the accompanying link  ...

Jun 11, 2019 PCMS Wine Lovers Attend 2019 Tasting

On the evening of Monday, June 10, wine enthusiasts in the PCMS Membership gathered for a "California Uncorked" tasting in the classroom at Total Wine and More in Puyallup.  The instructor talked about California's leading role in global wines coming out of the United States noting that if California were a nation of its own, its production of wine would rank fourth in the world behind France, Italy, and Spain.  He reviewed the history of the California wine industry from its beginnings by Spanish missionaries in what is now Orange County to the present where expansion is still underway in new growing areas north of the famed counties of Napa and Sonoma which he discussed in detail due to their individual high quality AVAs....

Jun 10, 2019 Think Immunizations Now

The PCMS School Health Public Health Committee comprises representatives of the Society and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department as well as all the school nurses from across Pierce County.  Those nurses continue to stress that it helps them perform their duties and helps schools get off to a strong start in the fall if physicians and PAs reach out to their patients about immunizations sooner rather than later over the summer.  They also suggest that practices conduct immunization clinics or fairs to help get those shots taken care of before busy family schedules push up against the start of school in the fall....

Jun 7, 2019 State Senator Darneille Meets with PCMS and VA Expands Access to Private Providers

On the evening of June 4, State Sen. Jeannie Darneille of the 27th District that includes most of Tacoma, a majority member of the State Senate's Behavioral Health Subcommittee, met with the PCMS Board of Trustees and Executive Director Bruce Ehrle for 90 minutes.   The discussion focused primarily on behavioral health issues at a time when primary care physicians are being tasked with behavioral health care integration, when pediatricians and family practitioners are spending more time than ever on behavioral health issues in a challenging reimbursement environment, and when ER physicians are still dealing with patients who would be better off getting care in more appropriate and cost effective settings.  Sen....

Apr 26, 2019 PCMS Members Attend Free Collegial Social

The inaugural PCMS Free Collegial Social in partnership with TRA Medical Imaging was conducted at the TRA Lounge on Mildred Street in Tacoma on the evening of April 25.   The event was another offering by the Society targeted to provide members with an opportunity to visit with each other at a time when physicians are noting that they often feel isolated from each other.  There was no charge to attend.  A dinner buffet from Olive Garden featuring plenty of salad, pastas, sauces, meatballs, chicken, Italian sausage, breadsticks, and desserts was served along with fine wines, beer, and soft drinks....

Mar 14, 2019 Winter 2019 PCMS Bulletin

A copy of the Winter 2019 PCMS Bulletin may be found at the link....

Feb 7, 2019 PCMS Meets with State Health Committee Members

With the state legislative session underway and behavioral health expected to be a major topic of deliberation, PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle headed to Olympia on Thursday, February 7. While there he met with State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, a majority member of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.  Rep....

Dec 6, 2018 Regal Guest of Honor at PCMS Reception

A bald eagle animal ambassador from the Point Defiance Zoo was the regal guest of honor at the Reception for this week's PCMS Annual Meeting.  Attendees were able to view the national symbol of the United States up-close and ask questions of handlers about the magnificent bird.   Having the bald eagle appear at the event afforded an opportunity for PCMS members to see one of the most stunning examples of a species brought back from the brink of extinction by a fellow species on Earth--human beings....

Dec 6, 2018 PCMS Celebrates 130 Years

On the evening of Wednesday, December 5, Pierce County Medical Society conducted its Annual Meeting at the brand new Pacific Seas Aquarium in the Point Defiance Zoo.  The event served as a 130th birthday celebration for the organization.   As attendees and speakers marked the occasion of thirteen decades of physicians and PAs caring for patents in Pierce County, stewardship was a common theme when referring to the community-based professional organization that represents them.   Outgoing President Khash Dehghan thanked the 2018 PCMS Board of Trustees and noted their contributions toward stewardship helping to make the Society a robust example of a county medical society in the State of Washington and the nation.  He also thanked the membership for their continued support and stewardship....

Dec 3, 2018 New Opioid Prescribing Rules

The Washington Medical Commission has adopted opioid prescribing rules that are effective January 1, 2019.  It is important that physicians familiarize themselves with these new rules.  Below are links to several toolkits from the Commission that will assist in that process....

Nov 20, 2018 Fall 2018 PCMS Bulletin

Here is the Fall 2018 issue of the PCMS Bulletin...

Nov 2, 2018 PCMS 130th Birthday Celebration

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Pierce County Medical Society will take place on Wednesday, December 5, 5:30-9:00pm at the Point Defiance Aquarium in Tacoma.  The evening will be the 130th Birthday Party for PCMS!! Attendees will be able to visit the newly re-opened aquarium facility to see the renovated exhibits and tickets to Zoo Lights will also be provided to all attendees to add to the festive evening.  A special guest at the event will be the national symbol of the United States, a Bald Eagle that serves as an animal ambassador for the Point Defiance Zoo. ...

Sep 7, 2018 Access Issues Raised with Kim Schrier

At a recent WAMPAC/AMPAC lunch in Auburn also attended by PCMS Vice President Nicholas Rajacich, MD, Executive Director Bruce Ehrle raised a number of pressing issues in need of aggressive consideration by Congress with Kim Schrier, MD.  Schrier is the Democratic candidate in the open 8th Congressional District race.  The district includes the eastern section of Pierce County....

Aug 17, 2018 Residents Welcomed at 2018 Picnic

The 2018 PCMS & WAFP Pierce County Chapter Membership Picnic and Medical Resident Social was held on the evening of Thursday, August 16.  The weather cooperated perfectly for the event at the Pagoda in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma with clear skies and moderate temperatures.  The event provided another opportunity for physicians who are noted in recent national media coverage as feeling increasingly isolated from their patients and each other to share collegiality in an informal atmosphere sponsored by their local membership organizations.  ...

Jul 11, 2018 Rep. Heck Listens to PCMS Concerns

During an event in University Place on the evening of July 9, 2018, US Representative Denny Heck (D-WA) listened as PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle raised several issues on behalf of the membership.  He emphasized that it is important for Congress to have a mindset moving forward that there are still many challenges for all sectors of the health care system in America including those providing care and noted the high levels of stress in the physician profession.  Several examples of federal policy areas that need consideration were articulated including patient access to care through potential deductible assistance since having insurance that is unaffordable to use creates barriers to physicians and other providers, getting insurance companies to cover more of the prescription drugs an...

Jun 15, 2018 Bruce Ehrle Named Vice Chair of CHC Resident Education Committee

The strong relationship between the Pierce County Medical Society and Community Health Care has taken another step with PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle being named as Vice Chair of the CHC Medical Resident Education Committee that oversees the residency program at CHC's five large clinics.   Community Health Care is a Federally Qualified Health Center that treats over 150,000 patients per year regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.  Like other FQHCs, CHC is an important safety net provider.   Their clinics offer a full range of services including primary and preventive care, dentistry, urgent care, and behavioral health.  They also have in-house imaging and pharmacy services.  ...

Jun 14, 2018 Get Rid of Unwanted Medicine--Safely

Pierce County has expended free medicine take-back locations and services through MED-Project.  The project offers kiosk locations and postage-paid return envelopes for the safe return and disposal of unwanted medicine to all Pierce County residents.   The kiosks accept drugs sold in any form including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, controlled substances, and pet medications.   Disposal of such medications can limit drug abuse, prevent accidental poisoning, and protect the environment.   More information including kiosk locations can be found at MED-Project.org  ...

Jun 11, 2018 PCMS Tacoma Trauma Trust Seats

Board Member David Swedler, DO and Executive Director Bruce Ehrle have been selected to leadership positions at the Tacoma Trauma Trust.  The Trust oversees the operations of the combined Level II Trauma Center at CHI Fransiscan St. Joseph Medical Center and MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.  The trama center provides critical care emergency services to the entire South Sound region of the State of Washington.  Dr....

Jun 6, 2018 PCMS Advocates for Members with State Rep. Jinkins

On the evening of Tuesday, June 5, the PCMS Board of Trustees and Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, a senior majority member of the Health Care and Wellness Committee in the Washington State House of Representatives.  Rep. Jinkins represents the 27th Legislative District that includes most of Tacoma.  She kindly offered more than an hour of her time to discuss issues of importance to physicians and PAs in Pierce County....

May 3, 2018 PCMS Enjoys Tasting of Washington Wines

PCMS Members and their guests gathered together this evening of May 2, 2018 at the Rooftop Terrace and Ballroom of the Landmark Convention Center in Tacoma for a wine tasting led by Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast magazine, considered the preeminent expert about Pacific Northwest wines.  Paul returned to Pierce County two years after his initial wine tasting for PCMS in 2016.  Attendees were guided through three flights of Washington wines noted for their high quality and high value--a flight of three Rieslings, a fight of three red blends and Cabernets, and a flight of three Syrah wines that Washington is gaining increased attention over including having a Washington Syrah named #2 wine in the entire world last year by Wine Spectator....

Apr 6, 2018 PCMS Advocates for Members with Rep. Kilmer

As part of the Pierce County Medical Society’s advocacy efforts to represent the interests of physicians and PAs, Executive Director Bruce Ehrle raised the following points at a recent fundraiser for US Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) at the home of PCMS Vice President Nicholas Rajacich, MD and co-hosted by among others, PCMS President Khash Dehghan, MD:...

Jan 2, 2018 PCMS 130

The Pierce County Medical Society celebrates its 130th birthday in 2018.  It is an indication of the longevity of the physician profession in our community, in our nation, and in our civilization that PCMS was founded the year before Washington was admitted as a state and like the Evergreen State itself, has evolved over the nearly century and a half of its existence to meet the ongoing changes that never cease taking place.   Even as the Society has maintained its founding tradition of being the professional organization in Pierce County for physicians and PAs, its mission and goals have consistently been nimble so that it may forever work toward that profession being successful, robust, and valued.  ...

Dec 7, 2017 Medal of Honor Recipient Speaks to PCMS

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Pierce County Medical Society was conducted during the evening of December 6 at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club.  Attendees were greeted by festive decorations and holiday music performed by members of the terrific Tacoma Youth Symphony.  Gifts for women and children were dropped off for distribution to the YWCA Shelter in Tacoma.  Raffle prizes consisting of Harry and David products as well as gift cards to the Lobster Shop were drawn for.  Outgoing PCMS President Steven Litsky, MD thanked members of the 2017 Board of Trustees, noted those with tenure carrying over to 2018, and thanked Brian Mulhall, MD and Susan McDonald, MD for their service as they depart the Board.  He presented the gavel to incoming President Khash Dehghan, MD who welcomed new members...

Nov 8, 2017 Mark Grubb, MD Begins Tenure as Chair of Public Health School Health Committee

PCMS Member Mark Grubb, MD of Woodcreek Healthcare began his tenure today as the new Chair of the PCMS Public Health School Health Committee, taking over those duties from Dr. Sara Scranton of Pediatrics Northwest.  Dr. Larry Larson, also of Pediatrics Northwest, had been Chair for many years prior to Dr. Scranton....

Oct 27, 2017 Nominating Committee Approves Slate of BOT Candidates

The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the following slate of candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: One year terms of office--2018: Aaron Pace, MD--President-Elect--Dermatology Nicholas Rajacich, MD---Vice President--Orthopedic Surgery (MultiCare/Mary Bridge) Jared Capouya, MD--Treasurer--Pediatrics (MultiCare/Mary Bridge) Alex Mohit, MD--Secretary--Neurosurgery (CHI Franciscan) Two year terms of office—2018/2019: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD--Trustee--Primary Care/Family Medicine (Community Health Care) Courtney Kennel, DO--Trustee--Primary Care/Family Medicine Dina Titova, MD--Trustee--Rheumatology (CHI Franciscan)   Under the terms of the PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition....